More Than 1,000 Convene for Mobility 21
Summit to Define Transportation’s Role in a
More Competitive California
Infrastructure experts joined forces last Friday to seek strategies for a more competitive California by reducing congestion, improving safety and planning for our future. More than 1,000 transportation, business and elected leaders convened at the Disneyland Hotel for the 14th annual Mobility 21 Southern California Transportation Summit, which is the largest one-day transportation event in the state.
“Investing in better public transit, roads, and other travel options is the safest and most efficient way to relieve traffic in our growing region, which has the most congested roadways in the nation,” said Art Leahy, CEO of Metrolink and Chair of Mobility 21. “The economic advantages to increased mobility are clear. What Southern Californians need are stable long-term funding sources to enhance our transportation systems and provide superior infrastructure and services to an eager public that is ready to embrace 21st century mobility options.”
With a looming infrastructure deficit of $200 billion through 2035 in our region alone (as projected by the Southern California Association of Governments), funding and innovative delivery is a critical discussion topic at this year’s Summit. According to SCAG, nearly 74 percent of the funding for Southern California’s transportation projects is raised locally, predominantly through sales tax measures. State and federal support is imperative to maintain and upgrade California’s infrastructure.
“California has often been a leader in innovative and effective ways to fight congestion, climate change and lack of mobility through investments in sustainable transportation,” said Therese McMillan, Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. “To address serious funding shortfalls and manage population growth, it is critical to implement comprehensive, long-term funding solutions at the national, state and local level.”
During the Summit’s closing session, a conversation with Southern California’s port CEOs, Congressman Alan Lowenthal and leading public and private sector leaders emphasized the critical importance of our region as a gateway of international goods to our nation and the need to balance economic, community and environmental goals.
“International trade is a key driver of the region’s economy with more than a third of the state’s exports coming from Southern California,” said Lucy Dunn, President and CEO, Orange County Business Council; Vice-Chair, Mobility 21. “Future growth depends on the continued expansion of international trade, which cross-cuts every other industry. A well-connected port system ensures businesses opportunities for strategic global partnership that fuel the state and nation’s economic prosperity.”
Attendees learned about concepts being proposed to keep California competitive, including: harnessing the power of vehicle technology; alternative project delivery; mileage-based user fees; and new last mile options. Conference goers also heard from experts on how demographic trends are impacting transportation planning. The historic population growth that occurred in 1945–1965 (baby boomers) and again in 1981–1995 (millennials) is now raising questions about how people will travel in the years to come.
“No one could have predicted the impact transportation technology has had on increasing access to a variety of mobility options,” said Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments and Mobility 21 Board Member. “California has been ahead of the curve in combating smog and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and we will continue to be the nation’s foremost proving ground for new modes of transportation because we have innovative companies, visionary elected officials and a common desire to improve our quality of life.”
Mobility 21 is presented awards to several transportation leaders for their efforts to keep the region moving:
- Public Sector Leader of the Year: Hon. Kevin de León, Senate President Pro Tem, California State Senate (invited)
- Private Sector Leader of the Year: Noel Massie, President, UPS, South California District
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Thomas V. McKernan, Chairman of the Board, Automobile Club of Southern California
- Tribute Award: Larry Sharp, Former CEO, Arrowhead Credit Union (in memoriam)
For more information about the conference, visit the event website: https://mobility21.com/2015summit/
Fix Our Roads. Do It Now.
As we heard from our Summit speakers, there is an urgent need for Californians to make their voices heard in Sacramento about the need for transportation investment. The message is simple and clear: Fix Our Roads. Do It Now. Contact your legislator via Twitter or click here to find their e-mail address. #SpecialSession #Mobility21
Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Transportation Corridor Agencies
Mike is the Chief Executive Officer for the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA). TCA operates a 51-mile toll road network in Orange County, servicing 260,000 transactions daily and generating over $300 million in annual revenue.
Mike has over 30 years of experience in the planning, design and management of major civil and transportation engineering projects. During his career, he has delivered complex public works projects including state highways, rail and port facilities.
Mike is a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in civil engineering and holds an M.S.C.E. degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He is a registered professional engineer in California and numerous other states.
Mobility 21 Advisory Board Member Spotlight:
Vice President, Subdivision Manager – South West Area
Hatch Mott MacDonald
Joe Toolson has over 24 years of a diversified Program Management and Civil Engineering experience. He has implemented both design and construction of a large number of mega-programs. His extensive background in program, design and construction management for highways, rail, transit, facilities and major utility programs provides him the vast knowledge needed to resolve difficult issues within the time and budgetary constraints that face all clients. Joe’s experience in interfacing with multiple stakeholders on the owner’s behalf is invaluable in the civil engineering industry.
His current work assignment in Orange County as the Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) Project Manager for the Highways Delivery Department is in the spotlight of the renewed Measure M for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). Other assignments for Joe with OCTA have included State Route 22 Design-Build Program Manager, Trade Corridor Improvement Funded railroad grade separation Program Manager, support in the development of departmental procedures for project management, technical support for the development of a project management training academy for OCTA, management of staff supporting the early action plan development for the renewed Measure M, and management support in the development of the OCTA Primavera 6 dashboard reporting system. These very diverse roles have made him a lead representative for HMM for the Southern California region.
Joe’s ability to lead a diverse array of improvement programs has evolved from many of the separate leadership roles he has been in for Self-Help Counties around the State of California. Such experience has enabled him to formulate quality team structures and support staff to build trust with his clients. His experience in dealing in a firm but fair manner has promoted him as an HMM leader in our southern region.
Joe has served as Technical Advisor for the following projects:
MTC / Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) TBSR and RM1 Program Monitoring
Technical Advisor, providing assistance on an as needed basis. Roles included providing technical review and settlement of claim for Heat of Hydration Claim for Benitia Martinez Bridge. Additional assistance included the development of boiler-plate contract bid documents for use by BATA
California Department of Transportation On-Call Construction Engineering & Inspection Services for District 4 (South Bay)
Technical Advisor and Project Principal-in-Charge for on-call services for construction engineering and inspection projects at Caltrans District 4. Responsibilities included serving as advisor on project staffing, management of construction staff, and review of project construction administration issue for Route 101 projects in San Jose, CA
Caltrans Independent Cost Estimating Services, Statewide
Technical Advisor, providing technical support for California Department of Transportation Estimates performed prior to project bid openings. Role included input on leveling of bid costs for projects throughout the State of California.
Summit Titanium Sponsor Spotlight:
As a Southern-California-based company, Parsons is proud to sponsor the 2015 Mobility 21 Summit. Since 1944, Parsons has partnered with diverse local and regional government agencies and private firms to deliver some of California’s most significant projects.
Parsons offers 70 years of local experience, a proven partnering process, and globally recognized technology. The firm’s skilled professionals leverage world-renowned expertise to ensure its customers’ success. With more than 15,000 employees worldwide, Parsons specializes in end-to-end design-build transportation engineering, including multidisciplinary planning, maintenance, improvements and all phases of construction and implementation.
From its headquarters, in Pasadena, Parsons has contributed to many of California’s most high-profile efforts, such as the Mid-City Exposition LRT Design-Build, in Los Angeles; California High-Speed Rail, Contract CP1; the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, from Pasadena to Azusa; the SR 91 Corridor Improvement Project, in Riverside; and the Thomas Bradley International Terminal, at LAX. Whether relieving highway congestion or ushering in a new era of high-speed rail travel, Parsons’ name is synonymous with connecting communities for a competitive California.
Station Dedications Continue for the Foothill Gold Line Extension in the San Gabriel Valley
Metro CEO Phil Washington joined elected officials and other transportation and business leaders Saturday, Aug. 22, to dedicate the Foothill Gold Line Extension Arcadia Station in the San Gabriel Valley. This is the second in a series of five station dedications for the new light-rail line built by the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority.
The dedications celebrate the upcoming completion of the nearly $1 billion, six-station light-rail project, which has been funded by the L.A. County Measure R half-cent sales tax for transportation. The new light-rail line will be operated by Metro.
Although an opening date has not been established, Metro anticipate beginning passenger service next year on the 11.5-mile Foothill Gold Line project from Pasadena to Azusa.
Dozens of local officials were in attendance at the dedication. Speakers included U.S. Representative Judy Chu; State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez; Metro Board Member and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich; Metro Board First Vice Chair and Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Member, Duarte City Councilman John Fasana; and Foothill Gold Line Board Chairman Doug Tessitor. Metro CEO Phil Washington and Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian also spoke of the historic occasion.
The Arcadia Station is located in the heart of downtown Arcadia, at the intersection of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street. Fully revealed to the public for the first time at the dedication, the station features unique artwork created by local public artist Michael Davis. The artwork, titled “Arcadian Zephyr,” is inspired by natural and designed elements from two of the City of Arcadia’s major destinations: the racetrack at Santa Anita Park and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The end results include a 22-foot-tall weathervane with bronze sculptures that reference plants and animals from the Arboretum and racetrack; stainless steel panels featuring galloping racehorses in a tribute to the landmark frieze panels at Santa Anita Park; sandblasted black granite and signature green painted benches with a lucky number ‘7’ hidden in the framework; and, in a tribute to the city’s famous symbol and bird, a glass canopy designed after the eye of a peacock feather.
Transportation Summits Offer Unique
Opportunity to Define Future of
Transportation in Riverside County
The Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) is seeking public input to guide the County’s transportation planning process. A strategic review is underway and the public is invited to attend a series of transportation summits where they can share their vision for the future of mobility in the County. The goal of the strategic assessment is to assess existing plans, funding capacity, public opinion and priorities in order to develop a foundation for future decision-making.
Public input is critical to successful planning and assists RCTC in identifying the public’s desire for current and future transportation needs. Identifying needs, however, is only one part of the process. Developing an effective transportation system requires ongoing investment in long-term solutions. Finding a way to pay for what the community wants means setting priorities and making choices – this requires input from stakeholders. Click here to view the flyer and upcoming Summit dates.
SANBAG Business 2 Business Expo
Join the San Bernardino Associated Governments at the Business 2 Business Expo. Grow your business, discover new resources, interact with agency representatives and network with prime contractors, project managers and other small businesses!
Wednesday, Sept. 9
Inland Regional Center
More Info & Register
Transportation Events in the Community
Friday, Sept. 11
ACEC-OC: Scholarship Golf Tournament
Friday, Oct. 2
Inland Empire Economic Partnership: Inland Empire Manufacturing Day
California Transportation Foundation: Transportation Education Symposium
CalCIMA: Annual Education Conference
Wednesday, Nov. 18
OCBC: Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards and Reception
California Transit Association: Fall Conference and Expo
Thursday, Dec. 3
WTS-OC: Annual Awards & Scholarships Gala